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Vicenza Hospital in Italy Opens First CyberKnife(R) Radiosurgery Center In Europe

Posted on: 03/31/2003

Press Release Source: Accuray Incorporated

Vicenza Hospital in Italy Opens First CyberKnife(R) Radiosurgery Center In Europe

Monday March 31, 10:00 am ET

Vicenza Hospital is First CyberKnife Site in the World to Incorporate 3-D Angiography With Frameless Radiosurgery to Treat AVM Patients

SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Accuray Incorporated, the world leader in image-guided radiosurgery, today announced that Vicenza Hospital in Vicenza, Italy is the first CyberKnife® site to open in Europe. Vicenza Hospital began patient treatments at the end of January and has treated 18 patients with brain and spinal lesions. In addition, the hospital is the first CyberKnife site in the world to incorporate 3-D rotational angiography (3DRA) to plan treatment of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) with radiosurgery. Four AVM patients have already been treated by this new technique. ADVERTISEMENT

An AVM is a congenital disorder typically occurring in the brain or spinal cord that is characterized by a complex, tangled mass of veins and arteries due to abnormal development of blood vessels. Blood flows at a higher rate in these areas, placing the patient at risk of bleeding that can result in neurological problems such as paralysis or loss of speech, memory, or vision. Compared to standard angiography (2-D), 3DRA is a technique that helps physicians better visualize the exact location and shape of the AVM, which is important in generating an accurate radiosurgery treatment plan. Unlike CT-angiography, 3DRA allows intra-arterial injection of contrast medium with selective visualization of the nidus, feeders and draining veins. It is possible to acquire the entire head volume in 3-4 seconds. The technique used by the Vicenza team results in the generation of (typically) 300 slices, 0.6mm thick.

The CyberKnife® Radiosurgery System incorporates image-guidance and robotics to non-invasively ablate tumors and other lesions in the body through the precise delivery of multiple beams of high energy x-rays. During the CyberKnife treatment planning process, information from 3DRA can be combined with the patient's CT data to accurately delineate the AVM volume and develop the optimal treatment plan for the patient. Image acquisition time is only 3 to 4 seconds.

The Head of Vicenza Hospital Neurosurgery Department, Federico Colombo, M.D., said, "At Vicenza Hospital, we strive for excellence in patient care, which includes bringing the latest and most advanced technology to our patients. We have demonstrated this by opening the first CyberKnife center in Europe. In addition, we have the distinction of being the first CyberKnife site in the world to offer 3-D rotational angiography in conjunction with frameless radiosurgery for patients suffering from AVMs. This is a breakthrough because it enables more accurate targeting of AVMs and will make radiosurgery a very attractive non-invasive alternative to open surgery for many patients." Dr. Colombo is a pioneer in the field of radiosurgical obliteration of AVMs. He was the first neurosurgeon in the world to treat an AVM with linear accelerator-based radiosurgery 25 years ago.

"One of the most critical issues in treating AVMs of the brain and spinal cord is the accurate delineation of the pertinent anatomy. Standard angiography is less useful because with a 2-D representation, you cannot superimpose angiographic information onto CT anatomy, resulting in less accurate target delineation. With 3DRA we can obtain a 3-dimensional picture of the lesion, which is ideal in designing highly conformal treatments with the CyberKnife. Patients can feel confident that the lesion is being completely and effectively targeted. An added advantage of the CyberKnife is that it can be used to treat patients with spinal AVMs as well -- many of these patients have no other treatment options," commented Paolo Francescon, Ph.D., Head of the Medical Physics Department at Vicenza Hospital.

Thierry Thaure, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Accuray, said, "Vicenza Hospital represents our successful entry into Europe. Our technology is gaining widespread acceptance throughout the U.S. and we believe the momentum will continue throughout the world as we open new markets for the CyberKnife. Vicenza Hospital's successful opening symbolizes a significant milestone for our company."

The CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System is a non-invasive radiosurgery device that can ablate tumors and other lesions without open surgery. It delivers multiple beams of precisely directed radiation that converge upon the tumor while minimizing injury to surrounding healthy tissue. The CyberKnife is the only system that integrates image-guidance and robotic delivery of radiation. Existing conventional systems rely on an external metal frame attached to the skull for target localization, which limits their application to lesions in the head. The CyberKnife instead uses internal reference points in the anatomy (skeletal landmarks or small implanted markers) to enable frameless treatment of lesions anywhere in the body.

About the CyberKnife®:

The unique CyberKnife technology was developed in cooperation with Stanford University and was cleared by the FDA in August 2001 to provide radiosurgery for lesions anywhere in the body when radiation treatment is indicated. To date, the CyberKnife has been used to treat more than 4,500 patients worldwide.

The CyberKnife is the only radiosurgical system in the world incorporating robotics and image-guidance to treat tumors throughout the entire body. CyberKnife treats in single session or staged (typically 3-5) sessions and incorporates logic that precisely corrects for patient movement during actual treatment delivery. The level of accuracy achievable by the system allows higher doses of radiation to be used, which provides the potential for greater tumor-killing efficacy and greater likelihood of cure.

About Accuray:

Accuray is a privately held corporation whose primary focus is to revolutionize the treatment of solid cancers throughout the body by the precise delivery of high doses of radiation using the CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System. Through the development and promotion of the CyberKnife system and participation in ongoing clinical research at prominent academic hospitals, Accuray will help make stereotactic radiosurgery a viable and accessible option for patients all over the world. Located in Sunnyvale, California, the heart of the Silicon Valley, the company designs, manufactures, and distributes the CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System worldwide.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: Accuray Incorporated

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